Sustainability: The missing element in performance management

Jane Maley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Originality/value - The study suggests that when a MNC uses a sustainable HR approach, the performance management process is highly likely to make a stronger contribution to MNC effectiveness. The outcome is a balance between organizational financial outcomes and provision for employees. Performance managing people in organizations in a sustainable way, could prove to be strong source of competitive advantage. Hence, this study makes a central contribution to HR scholarship.

Purpose - The performance management process has typically focussed on the achievement of short-term financial goals and ignored longer-term broader goals such human, social and environmental goals. In an attempt to overcome this limitation, the purpose of this paper is to explore the benefits of a broader approach to performance management that offers a balance of organizational financial goals with positive human and social outcomes. Specifically, the paper reviews the adoption of a sustainable human resources (HR) approach to performance management.

Design/methodology/approach - This conceptual study considers the effect of the firm's shortterm financial focus on the multinational corporation's (MNC's) performance management process. Findings - The study finds a performance management process with a short-term financial ultimately ignores the developmental needs of the employee.

Research limitations/implications - In future studies that include empirical data and in particular longitudinal data should be considered so as to examine changes to employee performance management behaviors due to the implementation of a sustainable approach to performance management.

Social implications - The study shows that the adoption of a sustainable HR approach to performance management incorporates a balance of organizational financial goals with positive human and social outcome, both of which are necessary to achieve and sustain superior long-term organizational performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-205
Number of pages16
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2014


  • Business administration
  • Business strategy
  • Human resource management


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